James Blake, Ivo Karlovic and Nikolay Davydenko stay in the tournament after winning their first round Indian Wells 2013 clashes.
Croatian veteran Karlovic was lucky to avoid a first round Indian Wells exit in the match against 20-year old US player Jack Sock. Not many points were won against the serve in the opening set, yet Sock prepared a triple break ball at 4-2 and tucked away the first one – he served out the set smoothly with a game to love. The only break point of the second set came at 5-5, but Karlovic averted the danger and made it to the tie-break. He was doing well there, yet he wasted four set balls before facing the American’s match point opportunity at 8-7. Four-time ATP title holder Karlovic managed to battle back once again and finally wrapped up the set few rallies later. Momentum was clearly on his side in the decider as he constructed a 4-0 lead after and dropped just one point in the rest of his two service games. He advanced with a 3-6, 7-6 (8), 6-2 end score, blasting 12 aces in the process, six more than Sock.
Unlike his young countryman, Blake – born the same year as Karlovic – secured his second round ticket after seeing off 47th-ranked Robin Haase of Netherlands in straight sets. Blake, who is currently holding place 99 on ATP rankings, played in Indian Wells final in 2006 where he was beaten by Federer. He started today’s match expressly by seizing four games in a row. Although his second break was not confirmed, he nevertheless served out the set without any difficulties. The following set was decided in the penultimate game when Haase suffered a loss of serve and allowed the American to serve for the match at 5-4. Blake succeeded to seal the match and will play in second round after a 6-3, 6-4 victory.
In the clash of two 31-year-olds higher ranked Russian Davydenko prevailed over Paul-Henri Mathieu of France in two sets. The first one was full of break balls, yet only two were converted – the players clinched a break each and the outcome would be decided in the breaker. The thirteenth game was always going the Russian’s way though and he closed out the set easily thanks to three mini-breaks. The next set was all square until 2-2 when Davydenko started his four straight games run to leave his opponent far behind and cross the finish line first. Final result: 7-6 (1), 6-2.